It’s About Production

In the last post I talked about confronting an employee regarding their future with your company. In his blog post on April 3rd Dan Steer gave an excellent example of how the CEO of his previous employer helped Dan realize that he would not be a good fit for the company Dan Steer.

Now back to turning this unproductive employee into a productive employee. Their lack of productivity could be as simple as a lack of organization. They could be a slow worker (working hard but not smart) or mismanagement of their time. Then the granddaddy of them all, they may not have the skill-set to perform the job.

Before we get into making them productive remember you can take a personnel action against an unproductive employee, however it must be based solely on job performance.

Once you determine the cause of their unproductiveness you have to decide if you’re willing to invest the time, money or both into developing this employee. Some skills can be taught on the job such as; teaching someone how to work smarter and not harder, simple organizational or time management skills. If they need formal training that may be a tough pill to swallow. In our current economic climate companies are struggling not to lay people off so paying for formal training maybe out of the question.

It could be more cost-effective to train them rather than hire someone. If you decide to hire someone you have to decide if you’re going to hire internally or externally. An internal hire would eliminate the learning curve and the new employee could hit the ground running but you don’t know how soon they will be able to start. You don’t know what projects they are currently working or if their supervisor is willing to part with them. If you hire externally you have the cost of advertising the job, the time spent interviewing applicants and so on. Is it worth not training them? I’m not suggesting you keep an unproductive employee around just because it may be difficult to replace them. I’m just saying count the cost before you make a decision.

Cornell Jenkins
If you want to reach me you can email me at or leave a comment

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